If you had to begin a stay at nursing and rehabilitation facility, what would be among the first items you would expect to be issued? A bed? Maybe a wheelchair? How about an iPad?  Well, as part of a growing trend of bringing technology to nursing facilities, the Grand HealthCare System is issuing iPads to all guests who want and can use one in all of its half dozen homes.

“It’s a window to the world for them. They’re in a very restricted area and they don’t get out much because they’re physically challenged right now at the moment. But with an iPad, they can search the internet, they can call loved ones on FaceTime,” says Joe Yurowitz of Grand Healthcare System.

In addition to the standard apps like news, social networking and movies, there’s also a concierge app to make the place feel a little less like a rehab facility and a little more like a hotel.

It’s an app specifically made for these facilities that allows  guests to, with just a touch or two, order food, housekeeping, maintenance and transportation. Guests say that, coupled with traditional apps, it helps make them feel more like guests and less like patients.

 “It’s makes you feel slightly less of a burden, that you’ve got to be talking to everybody all of the time, telling them what you want.  Here, you can make the choice very, very quickly," says nursing home guest Alan Capper.

 “You see what’s going on in the world and when I see my family, I have a lot of nieces and nephews and I’m missing them all grow up because they can’t all get here all the time to visit. So I see them on FaceTime. They wave, they can see, you know and it makes me feel better, it cheers me up when I see them," says nursing home guest Madeline Castora.

The Grand HealthCare System is one of several nursing and rehabilitation facilities across the country offering iPads to its residents. In addition to being a link to the outside world, tablet computers are also seen as a tool to help sharpen patients’ minds and fine motors skills.